US Army Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) Airdrop Tested for Long-term Ruggedization
US Army Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) Airdrop Tested for Long-term Ruggedization

US Army Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) Airdrop Tested for Long-term Ruggedization

Airborne equipment testers here are working with aerospace engineers on modifying airdrop rigging techniques because of structural and mechanical changes made by the manufacture of the Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV).The ISV is a new concept to allow Army Infantry Brigade Combat Team Soldiers to cover large areas of challenging terrain more quickly and less fatigued by reducing the area usually covered on foot. Infantrymen would also be able to carry enough personal and squad provisions to self-sustain for several days, and the ISV is also transported easily by air assets during air assault and airborne assault missions.The ISV is deployable worldwide by sea, air, and land to support strategic deployment and operational maneuver in accordance with Army and Joint doctrine.

“This capability is required across the range of military operations facing Infantry Brigade Combat Teams conducting crisis response, initial entry, and selected decisive action missions,” said James Cochran (JC), a seasoned Military Test Plans Analyst within ABNSOTD.

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“Testing centered around determining if production representative mode (PRM) ISVs could tolerate the forces experienced during low velocity airdrop operations (LVAD),” said Lt. Col. Derek Johnson, Chief of Test Division at the Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate (ABNSOTD).

“Operating the ISV is a great experience from the driver’s point of view,” said Staff Sergeant Clinton Martinez, an ABNSOTD Parachute Rigger. “It rides smoothly over all types of terrain and visibility is outstanding.”

“The speed and maneuverability of the ISV, along with its capability to easily negotiate all types of terrain should impart confidence in the Infantrymen that will be utilizing this vehicle in real world and training operations,” said Sgt. 1st Class Marcus Love, an Infantryman assigned to ABNSOTD.”

The Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate conducts a Simulated Airdrop Impact Test on an Infantry Squad Vehicle rigged on a standard Low Velocity Airdrop operations platform.
The Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate conducts a Simulated Airdrop Impact Test on an Infantry Squad Vehicle rigged on a standard Low Velocity Airdrop operations platform. (Photo by Mr. Michael Zigmond/U.S. Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate)

The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center in Natick, Massachusetts assisted ABNSOTD in modifying the ISV rigging procedures and paperboard honeycomb kit to accommodate changes to the production representative model of the ISV by General Motors Defense. The changes were deemed necessary after a previous version of the ISV encountered material problems during developmental testing when it was discovered some vehicle components were insufficiently ruggedized for long term vehicle service. Testing started with a rigging exercise of two PRM ISVs on one standard Type V low velocity airdrop operations (LVAD) platform and one Dual Row Airdrop System platform.

Once rigging solutions and paperboard honeycomb modifications were incorporated into the rigging procedures, both vehicles underwent Simulated Airdrop Impact Testing (SAIT). The two PRM ISVs rigged on airdrop platforms were raised by crane and free dropped to simulate the impact velocity experienced during LVAD operations. After SAIT, both vehicles were thoroughly inspected by ABNSOTD, General Motors Defense, and the ISV Program Office to see if either ISV had any damage from forces experienced during the simulated drop. The testing culminated with a 50-kilometer road test, with ABNSOTD personnel operating the PRM ISVs on improved, semi-improved, and un-improved roads as well as off-road routes at various speeds.

The Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate conducts a Simulated Airdrop Impact Test on an Infantry Squad Vehicle rigged on a Dual Row Airdrop System platform
The Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate conducts a Simulated Airdrop Impact Test on an Infantry Squad Vehicle rigged on a Dual Row Airdrop System platform (Photo by Mr. Michael Zigmond/U.S. Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate)

The Infantry Squad Vehicle is a new, lightweight, all-terrain troop carrier designed to modernize Army Infantry Brigade Combat Teams. It is based on the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 architecture, deriving 90 percent of its parts from commercial-off-the-shelf components. The ISV program provides Army Infantry Brigade Combat Teams an additive lightweight vehicle to move Soldiers and their equipment quickly over complex and difficult cross-country terrain. ISV is the Program of Record (PoR) intended to provide Ground Mobility Vehicle capabilities for the Army. Based on the current funding profile and fielding schedule, the Army will field ISVs to 11 Infantry Brigade Combat Teams for a total of 649 ISVs by FY25 (Army Procurement Objective.)

The U.S. Army Operational Test Command is based at West Fort Hood, Texas, and its mission ensures systems developed are effective in a Soldier’s hands and suitable for the environments in which they train and fight. Test unit Soldiers provide feedback by offering input to improve upon existing and future systems Soldiers will ultimately use to train and fight. The Fort Bragg, North Carolina-based Airborne the Special Operations Test Directorate (ABNSOTD) plans, executes, and reports on operational tests and field experiments of aerial delivery and air transportation equipment and procedures for airborne and special operations forces to provide key operational data for the continued development of doctrine and fielding of equipment to the Warfighter.

Paratroopers assigned to the Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate prepare to depart for a 50-kilometer road test in a fully loaded Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) after modifying airdrop rigging techniques because of structural and mechanical changes made by the ISV’s manufacturer.
Paratroopers assigned to the Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate prepare to depart for a 50-kilometer road test in a fully loaded Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) after modifying airdrop rigging techniques because of structural and mechanical changes made by the ISV’s manufacturer. (Photo by Mr. Michael Zigmond/U.S. Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate)

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